Listowel man Tadhg Kennelly has announced that he will return to Australia to resume his AFL career.
The Gaelic football player’s announcement, which he made to the county board on Friday afternoon just hours after telling Irish radio that he was still “50-50” about what to do, brought months of speculation to an end.
Kennelly, the first person to ever win both an AFL Premiership and a Senior All-Ireland Championship, played for the Sydney Swans until the beginning of 2009, when he decided to return home to Ireland to follow in the footsteps of his late father Tim and older brother Noel and win an All-Ireland medal with the Kerry team.
"Tadhg has notified us officially that he is returning to Australia," Kerry county chairman Jerome Conway announced on Friday.
"I suppose, as things were turning out over the last few weeks, it is no great surprise to us now.
"He did very well while he was here. He fulfilled his burning ambition to win an All-Ireland senior medal and emulate his late father. He certainly helped Kerry’s cause in a big way this year.
"His contribution as a coach out in North Kerry has been invaluable and he left a lasting impression with the youngsters he came into contact with up there. I have no doubt that, in the years to come, we will have some very good players emerging from North Kerry as a result.
"We wish him the very best, of course, and thank him for all the effort he put in on behalf of Kerry football and maybe someday, as he says in the book himself, that he will come back to raise his family in Kerry."
The news of Kennelly’s departure is a blow to Kerry’s chances of capturing the All-Ireland again in 2010.
It has not yet been announced as to whether Kennelly will rejoin the Sydney Swans or take up one of his many offers to join up with another AFL team.